Jump to content

Freshwater Salt System


John999
 Share

Recommended Posts

My dealer did recommend an Ahh-some treatment @ every refill. I do believe Ahh-some is a good product and a good idea to use in order to clean out the internal plumbing and I will use it. 

I am still a bit perplexed as to why I needed to put in a new salt cartridge after only two months. 

Can someone explain what exactly that cartridge does? I added salt upon initial fill (along with a bit of chlorine) and believe that was a one time deal as the salt never evaporates etc.

I'm thinking the salt cartridge creates some kind of chemical reaction when exposed to salt and chlorine in order to create ongoing chlorine ?

Also what exactly is the gauge on the salt meter for? I had it on "5" as per the rep who set my tub up at my house and when I went to buy the new cartridge at the local Hot Springs dealer the guy told me to keep it set at "3".

Does setting it higher cause it to create more chlorine thus diminishing it's life?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

In the mean time... Just had to replace the third salt cartridge after 10 weeks. All three lasted only 9 - 10 weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi folks,

Update on the cartridge life. After the cleaning and flushing of the pipework with the product supplied by Hot Springs, as of yesterday I have reached 4 months on a cartridge..................and it is still working producing an appropriate amount of chlorine from my salt water.

I guess that is a result as the previous cartridges barely lasted two months. It is a shame that Hot Springs didn't go down this road to start with (biofilms). They would have saved 3 cartridges at £70 a pop.

Thanks for all the input.

Regards,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

My Jetsetter LX with the freshwater system will be delivered next week. After reading this thread is it safe to assume I need to use a cleaner to purge it first? I hadn't heard of ahh some but have heard about the Spa marvel cleaner. Which is better? Also, what should be included with my tub besides the cover and the startup kit? I have read that some people get chemical supplies for a year. How many salt cartridges for example, just the one? I still have time to bargain a bit so I want to make sure I am getting everything I should with the tub. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of questions that I'll let others answer but with respect to cleaning or purging:

1. Spa marvel looks to be a detergent based cleaner which in my tests have not been effective especially against the bad guys that can arrive with a newly delivered spa.  I haven't tested spa marvel cleaner itself...just other detergent based products that appear to be similar..

2. As regards the the new spa.  Mine was delivered with live nasty bad guys in the pipes as a consequence of the mfg wet testing and subsequent shipping, storage and transportation delays.  I tried a few products claiming to address this problem but none performed better than ahh-some. So I highly recommend purging with ahh-some as part of your prep. For me its a must.  Be sure to follow the label directions which include removing filter(s) and dose with chlorine along with the ahh-some. 

Ahh-some contains some very effective molecule busting properties that will break up biofilms and (depending on tub condition)  can leave quite a residue on the vessel walls, which is why the label directions specify filter removal (the goo would otherwise clog up the filters and could harm your jet pumps) .  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/4/2021 at 7:52 PM, gwmac said:

My Jetsetter LX with the freshwater system will be delivered next week. After reading this thread is it safe to assume I need to use a cleaner to purge it first? I hadn't heard of ahh some but have heard about the Spa marvel cleaner. Which is better? Also, what should be included with my tub besides the cover and the startup kit? I have read that some people get chemical supplies for a year. How many salt cartridges for example, just the one? I still have time to bargain a bit so I want to make sure I am getting everything I should with the tub. 

Not sure if a purge is necessary, but it definitely cannot hurt.  I have no experience with Spa Marvel but have used Ahh-Some, Hot Tub Serum and Natural Chemistry Pipe Cleanse.  I use Hot tub Serum in my hot tub.

Your dealer determines what chemicals they include with your hot tub.  The FWSS comes with (1) salt cartridge, salt, test strips, salt test strips and Vanishing Act calcium remover.  In addition I include the following for my customers: pH increaser, pH decreaser, alkalinity increaser, oxidizing shock, cleanse weekly, phosphate remover and Freshwater mineral sanitizer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

checking in - just got a prodigy 12/2020 and having salt cartridges last 2 months only per warning on display.

Really aggravating.....I check the water 2 x a week plus - used softener pack, everything seems just fine in terms of chlorine, ph, alkalinity.

set salt output lower on 2nd cartridge and it stayed "OK" until it died - we use the pool 2 x a week, 2 people at a time - crazy.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/29/2021 at 6:52 AM, annkk said:

checking in - just got a prodigy 12/2020 and having salt cartridges last 2 months only per warning on display.

Really aggravating.....I check the water 2 x a week plus - used softener pack, everything seems just fine in terms of chlorine, ph, alkalinity.

set salt output lower on 2nd cartridge and it stayed "OK" until it died - we use the pool 2 x a week, 2 people at a time - crazy.

 

What level are your phosphates and salt at?  What output do you have the salt system set at?  
 

Lower salt levels (under 1700 ppm) and high phosphates are the two biggest reasons I see salt cartridges fail prematurely.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

@aero I was wondering if you were able to solve your freshwater salt system cartridge problem? We own the Hotspring Grandee and have been experiencing the same problem as you. We went through 5 cartridges in 8 months. We have always had a difficult time maintaining any kind of free chlorine, and just keep throwing money at Watkins cartridges that last two months at best. Watkins supplied us with three free cartridges claiming they had a new and improved coating on them, but they are no better than the originals. My dealer has told us that they have done everything they can do, and have suggested that we switch to Frog @ease cartridges. I am a freak about my water chemistry, testing and adjusting with MPS and spa up/down weekly and still no luck. I am of course out of my warranty and at a loss for what to do.  I would appreciate and information you could provide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@PuccispaMe too! We've owned a HotSpring Envoy for a couple of years now. Much though we've enjoyed using it, the experience of the Freshwater Salt System has been exceedingly frustrating. When it works, it works. And when it doesn't, it's a nightmare. And in our experience, it's difficult to know why things go wrong.

I've read here and elsewhere of high cyanuric acid, high phosphate and high organics as causes of failure. But none of this gets much mention by Watkins, whose promotional material paints the Freshwater Salt System as something you pretty well set and forget. Well, not in our experience!

We're now operating at ideal conditions of alkalinity, pH, hardness and salt. Filters are clean but the system still has to be set at 9 to achieve an acceptable free chlorine content. And system status is OK but at the 8 o'clock position, which is low. I change both water and cartridges more frequently than was ever suggested by the manufacturer or dealer.

Not a satisfactory user experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

UPDATE...

I informed Watkins Wellness of my plight. They were very gracious and shipped me a three pack of salt cartridges free of charge. They also told me that the cartridges burn out faster than normal if the water phosphate levels are high. (Phosphates are from soap). Four months ago (March 19, 2021)  I used "Ahh-Some", then drained, re filled, put in a new salt cartridge and balanced my water by the book. (I'm currently five days away from getting four full months out of this cartridge). 

What I learned: It's only two people using the spa twice a week. We have always been meticulous in rinsing very well prior to using the tub. Pure speculation but I'm thinking the reason(s) I was blowing through the cartridges so fast was... 1. There was bio film in my tub. 2. I used a bit of Hot Springs anti foam when I saw some foam. 3. I used too much Hot Springs filter spray cleaner when cleaning my filters (although I rinsed super good).

Anyways.. all seems good now. As for the output gauge it's been at the 8 o clock position and I have it set to 4. Haven't had to add any chems since that drain and fill in March. I'm happy with that output gauge at the 8 o clock position as long as my chlorine level is good.

So... Don't add anything to your water that isn't absolutely necessary. Don't add chlorine, use the salt generator to generate it.  Don't go by the output gauge, go by your test strip. Use Ahh-Some next drain and fill to get rid of bio film, rinse off real good prior to soakin'. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Aero:  So glad that the Freshwater Salt System is now granting you the extra time and chlorine production  time.  It is really amazing how Biofilms can raise so much havoc in all aspects of hot tub maintenance.  Please enjoy the hot tub.  Watkins is a very good company.  So glad that they took care of your issue.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Aero and @Dave K. Also thanks to John999.  I just ordered ahh some from amazon. I have been corresponding with a different customer rep at Watkins and I finally got somewhere. After explaining everything that we have gone thru since day one with our 1.5 year old spa, the rep from Watkins is now on the same page with me. I sent him the link to this blog, and encouraged him to read it. We definitely had/have biofilms in our brand new spa, because one month in I experienced white flakes, which I had to skim off the top. It ended up being  white mold. Our dealer was convinced I was in a CYA lock and had us drain the tub and start over. I know now that it was nothing I did wrong. I documented everything thru photos of the water, photos of test strips that were perfectly balanced except for no chlorine. My CyA has always been low, because I only supplement with MPS. I explained that I test for phosphates once a month, and keep this at zero by using phosfree. It has been an exhausting, nightmarish experience, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that ahhsome does the trick. 9 cartridges later, 3 xl vanishing acts, 2 ion sanitizers, 3 clean screen filters, and more test strips then I care to count.Watkins rep suggested I super sanitize with bleach. He recommended adding 4 cups before I drain in addition to purging with Ahhsome. Persistance and tons of research will hopefully pay off.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/21/2020 at 6:28 AM, John999 said:

Hi,

I have a Hot Springs Limelight Flash tub with the Freshwater salt system fitted. I was promised 4 months life with each cartridge. I am not even getting 2 months. Has anyone else had similar issues.

I have the Envoy and having same issues, water balance is all right where it needs to be, we have to keep the salt system set at #7 to generate enough chlorine.  Our cells are lasting about 2 months.  We contacted dealer, they told us to run at #5 but thats not enough Chlorine to keep up and they told to add Chlorine, seems backward if I have to add Chlorine why did we get this system?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Scott:  Typically, when the salt system will not maintain adequate free available chlorine levels it is apparent that a few things may be at fault.  Is your pH within normal range 7.2-7.6?  Has the hot tub had extra heavy bathing loads?  Is your Freshwater cell still operating?  Have you purged the plumbing infrastructure every 4-6 months?  I suspect that you have a build-up or slime forming organic contaminants within the plumbing.  This will cause a much higher sanitizer demand.  The sanitizer is trying to get to the root cause and penetrate the bio lipid layer of the gunk.  It tries and tries and uses itself up quickly with very little success in eliminating it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well... here I am going on the fifth month since my Ahh some clean and refill. Haven't had to change the cartridge yet. ??? Hmmm....Here's what I think is going on. 

1. Bather load is light. 1 - 2 people 2 - 3 times per week.

2. After last refill and initial (minimal) H20 balance I have not added any chems to the H20. (No anti foam. No PH Up. No PH Down. No Shock. No Chlorine. Very little filter cleaner with an extensive rinse) etc.

I am starting to think that minimizing TDS (total dissolved solids) and minimizing phosphates is what makes these cartridges last long. Basically set your H20 up and leave it. Don't keep messing with your H20 by adding ph up, then ph down, more salt, shock, chlorine, anti foam, heavy filter cleaner, not rinsing bathing suits and bodies well prior to use etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...